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Richard John Thompson OBE (born 3 April 1949) is a British songwriter, guitarist and recording and performing musician.Thompson was awarded the Orville H. Gibson award for best acoustic guitar player in 1991. Similarly, his songwriting has earned him an Ivor Novello Award and, in 2006, a lifetime achievement award from BBC Radio. Artists who have recorded Thompson's compositions include such diverse talents as Del McCoury, R.E.M., Bonnie Raitt, Christy Moore, David Gilmour, Mary Black, Elvis Costello, Marshall Crenshaw, The Corrs, Sandy Denny, June Tabor, Joel Fafard, Maria McKee, Shawn Colvin, Norma Waterson, Martin Carthy, Nanci Griffith, Graham Parker, The Pointer Sisters, Maura O'Connell, Los Lobos, John Doe, Greg Brown, Bob Mould, Barbara Manning, Loudon Wainwright III, The Futureheads and The Blind Boys of Alabama.Richard Thompson made his d├ębut as a recording artist as a member of Fairport Convention in September 1967. He continues to write and record new material regularly and frequently performs live throughout the world.Thompson was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to music. On 5 July 2011, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Aberdeen.ElectricThompson is often associated with the Fender Stratocaster guitar. He has made prominent use of Stratocasters, as he has a general preference for the sound of single coil pick-ups.
When I started playing Fenders in 1968, it was unfashionable because everyone in England was playing Gibsons and trying to get a big, fat sound like Eric Clapton had in Cream. I just wanted a little more bite.
Prior to using a Stratocaster with Fairport Convention he used a Gibson Les Paul with P-90 pick-ups. he then switched to a late 60s Stratocaster. Since leaving Fairport Convention he has continued to use electric guitars with single coil pick-ups, most famously a late-1950s Stratocaster but also two custom built electrics by Danny Ferrington as well as other Stratocasters, various Telecaster-type guitars and, in the studio, a Danelectro U2.As regards effects, he has made significant use of modulation and vibrato type effects pedals, most notably the Univibe and emulations thereof.Thompson has made intermittent use of Roland's GK-1 pick-up and GL-2 synthesiser over the years. He made use of these devices on 1979's Sunnyvista album and has occasionally used them in concert.


Since the early 1990s Thompson has made prominent use of Lowden acoustic guitars for studio and live work. Before this he used a Martin 000-18 as well as instruments built by Danny Ferrington.For live work his acoustic guitars are fitted with a Sunrise pick-up and an internal condenser microphone. The output from the pick-up is usually fed into some effects pedals, typically a delay pedal and a Univibe.

Brief discography

Only albums under Thompson's own name, and comprising only or mostly newly released material are included here. These are the albums that represent the solid corpus of his work as a songwriter and recording artist. For a more complete listing of his albums see the main Richard Thompson discography.
  • Henry the Human Fly (1972)
  • I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight (1974)
  • Hokey Pokey (1975)
  • Pour Down Like Silver (1975)
  • First Light (1978)
  • Sunnyvista (1979)
  • Strict Tempo! (1981)
  • Shoot Out the Lights (1982)
  • Hand of Kindness (1983)
  • Across a Crowded Room (1985)
  • Daring Adventures (1986)
  • Amnesia (1988)
  • Rumor and Sigh (1991)
  • Mirror Blue (1994)
  • You? Me? Us? (1996)
  • Mock Tudor (1999)
  • The Old Kit Bag (2003)
  • Front Parlour Ballads (2005)
  • 1000 Years of Popular Music (2006)
  • Sweet Warrior (2007)
  • Dream Attic (2010)
  • Cabaret of Souls (2012)
  • Electric (2013)


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